Trey Armstrong – River Operations ManagerPosted April 17, 2023 by Reily Schultz
Name: Trey Armstrong
Hometown: Granite Bay, CA
Guiding Since: 2015 (officially)
Many folks who guide for All-Outdoors come back year after year because they say the community here feels like family. People have each other’s back and look out for one another, creating and strengthening relationships that span decades. For Trey, All-Outdoors really is family.
Getting his feet wet
Trey was introduced to whitewater at a young age, going on frequent trips with his family on the South Fork American River. As he got older, he took a greater interest in rafting, learning how to row in 2011. You could often catch him tagging along with All-Outdoors trips as a private boater to absorb some knowledge. His guiding skills improved every season to the point where he was confident taking his friends down the river in his own boat, leaving peers envious of his unconventional family pastime. Attending All-Outdoors guide school felt like the next logical step!
Once he was formally employed by AO, Trey eased into guiding. He spent his first season on the South Fork, learning more about the company and how to form relationships with guests. By his third season he was working full time – guiding on intermediate rivers during the rafting season and working with operations staff during the winter. Over the years he has worked just about every job All-Outdoors has to offer: Class V river guide, driver, reservation specialist, food prep, guide school instructor, river manager, operations manager…
Graduating with a degree in business from Biola University has allowed Trey to accept more opportunities within the company and take on more responsibilities. While he still works as a river guide, Trey’s current focus is more behind the scenes. A typical progression in a rafting company offers opportunities to learn and guide on more advanced rivers; Trey spoke up when he was offered more guide work, saying that he would prefer to take on more off-water responsibility. Though he still has hopes to spend more time guiding Cherry Creek, Trey has no doubt that he will have the chance when he is ready.
Trey loves being a part of the family business and being hands on with all decision making. Establishing systems for operations that others can step into has been an administrative goal for Trey. Solidifying a framework for river management on all 10 of AO’s California rivers allows other guides to get their jobs done accurately and efficiently, giving Trey more time to focus elsewhere. He takes his work seriously and hopes to bring some consistency to a very inconsistent industry. He says one his favorite parts of the job is organizing logistics that have a lot of moving parts – working with a lot of variables and unexpected situations. The dynamic environment keeps him on his toes, and no two days are the same.
No such thing as “off-water”
When he has a break from the colorful and demanding world of whitewater rafting, you can still find Trey surrounded by water. You might catch him tagging along with an All-Outdoors trip in his kayak, or having some fun river surfing on the South Fork. In the winter, the water is more likely to be the frozen kind. Any free weekend in winter you can find Trey on a snowmobile or a pair of skis flying through snowy mountains around South Lake Tahoe. His enthusiasm for the outdoors translates well from one kind of water to the next. A Class V rapid on Cherry Creek? No problem. Free ride skiing in the backcountry? Piece of cake.
Trey is considered a good person to go to for advice at All-Outdoors. You might think it’s because he’s an Armstrong – part of the third generation to guide and manage AO. You might assume that his lineage means that he has insider knowledge of the outfitter and rivers that has been passed down for decades. While these things are true, his wisdom really comes from the fact that he has already made the mistakes you are worried about. Thankfully, he is as good at learning from his mistakes as he was at making them as a novice guide.
Words to live by: “Do it when you can, so you can when you have to” – Joseph “Shady” E., Master of Efficiency